By Sean Crose
Reports now say that Canelo Alvarez has dropped out of his scheduled December fight with Joshua Clottey due to a “persistent ankle injury.”
That may not be a terrible blow to Alvarez’s career, but it’s not good news for HBO subscribers, who have been left in a boxing-free desert for quite some time now. While the thawing of boxing’s so-called “Cold War” is making for exciting times for fight fans who subscribe to HBO (think Bernard Hopkins versus Sergey Kovalev), the cable outlet simply hasn’t been broadcasting fights lately. And people have taken note.
On the bright side, the December 6 date on HBO that the Alvarez-Clottey fight was to occur on is still in play. Still, a Canelo appearance off pay-per-view would have been a welcome event for many fans. Truth be told, Canelo-Clottey wasn’t the terrible match-up some were being led to believe it was to begin with. While Clottey proved himself to be an enormous disappointment in his outing against Manny Pacquiao years ago, he was said to have looked quite sharp in his last appearance against Anthony Mundine.
Yet the passing of one opportunity often signals the entrance of another. Reports indicate that Amir Khan has wanted to fight on the December 6 date himself. It’s also rumored that he may fight on Showtime, no less. That may be bad news for HBO, but it may turn into good news for fight fans, depending on who Khan might face.
No mention has thus far been made of a Canelo-Clottey bout possibly occurring sometime in the future. Truth be told, the chance of that happening before a Canelo showdown with Miguel Cotto may prove to be unlikely. Canelo’s going to want to be fresh if he gets into the ring with Cotto. A January or February fight with Clottey (or anyone else for that matter) might not give the Mexican superstar enough of a rest period between then and a spring fight date with Cotto.
Canelo is unique in today’s boxing world in that he’s one of the few A-list fighters who appears willing to fight absolutely anyone, no matter how threatening some opponents may seem. Like Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran and Tommy Hearns, Canelo isn’t going to let his reputation hang on his record. In other words, he comes across as more willing to take a loss than he is to being accused of cowardice and cherry-picking.
Still, it’s a shame that a fighter as popular as Canelo won’t be able to fight for the third time this year. Two bouts every twelve months seems to be the limit for marketable pros these days. It’s refreshing to see Canelo willing to buck the trend. Too bad he isn’t going to have his chance to in 2014.
To date, 2014 is shaping up to be a tough year for boxing fans. After a very pleasing first half, where the world saw fights like Pacquiao-Bradley II, Mayweather-Maidana I, and Froch Groves II, the past several months have arguably been an absolute dead zone.
When a fight as boring as Mayweather-Maidana II ends up being the high point of a full fiscal quarter, your sport of choice is most definitely not in a healthy place. And news of Canelo’s fight terminating injury certainly isn’t helping things become any healthier for boxing.